Friday, 6 September 2019

Prism of Photography

Prism of Photography
Prism of Photography: Dispersion of Knowledge and Memories of the 6th October Massacre (ปริซึมของภาพถ่าย: การแตกตัวขององค์ความ รู้และความทรงจำว่าด้วยเหตุการณ์ 6 ตุลา) is a visual archive of the 6th October 1976 massacre at Thammasat University, “one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of modern Thailand.” It includes Thai newspaper front pages, photographs taken by journalists at Thammasat, and autopsy photographs of the massacre victims. The images are primarily sourced from the Documentation of Oct 6 (บันทึก 6 ตุลา) website.

Surprisingly, the most iconic image from 6th October, Neal Ulevich’s picture of a man preparing to beat a hanging corpse with a chair, is not included. Nevertheless, the book is a more comprehensive collection of photographs than any previous publication on the massacre, such as สมุดภาพเดือนตุลา: ประมวลภาพเหตุการณ์ 14 ตุลาคม 2516 และ 6 ตุลาคม 2519 (‘picture book of 14th October 1973 and 6th October 1976’).

Most significantly, it’s (as far as I’m aware, after researching the subject myself for the past few years) the first book to reprint the notorious Dao Siam (ดาวสยาม) front page from 6th October 1976. Dao Siam’s headline and accompanying photo have been much discussed though seldom, if ever, reproduced. For example, the headline appears in พลกแผนด นประวตการเมองไทย 24 มย 2475 ถง 14 ตค 2516 (‘overturning the history of Thai politics from 23rd June 1932 to 14th October 1973’), though the photograph was blacked out.

Prism of Photography, by Thanavi Chotpradit and Kornkrit Jianpinidnan, is available at the Bangkok Art Book Fair 2019, at CityCity Gallery from 5th to 8th September. (Kornkrit also produced a photobook for लिंगम् Project 2018/‘linga project 2018’.) The book is free, though it’s limited to 500 copies.

0 comment(s):